Articles | 2018-11-16 -Lezlo
Top 5 Alcoholic Drinks You Must Try in Budapest
If you’re anything like us here at Partybookers Budapest when we travel, then you know that as well as getting all cultured and whatnot seeing sights, learning history, and trying local cuisine, we also place incredibly high importance on trying the local drinks. Alcoholic, of course. And what better pairing to go with enjoying the nightlife of any city? So not only can we give you some great ideas on where to go in Budapest, we’re also here to offer advice on the top 5 alcoholic drinks to try while you’re here.
While it’s true that beer is cheap here, don’t expect too much from the cheapest Hungarian lager taste-wise. We still list it because if you don’t care too much about taste and are more about that travel budget and the effective party pre-game before you head out and enjoy the city nightlife, then it’s definitely a good shout. (It’s my personal beverage of choice, to be honest!)
That being said, there are some very palatable cheap beers from Hungarian brands Soproni and Dreher in the form of their IPAs though. And there are also some great craft beer bars starting to pop up around the city, such as Edison Bar & Ink (also a great tattoo place), Krak’n Town, and Marionette Craft Beer House.
And if you’re here at the right time of year then you might be able to check out the Downtown Beer Festival in Budapest, usually held around June, with lots of delicious handcrafted local beers to sample.
4. Egri Bikavér aka ‘Bull’s Blood of Eger’ aka wine
With 22 wine regions across Hungary, you wine drinkers are spoiled for choice. Probably the most famous wine from Hungary is Egri Bikavér or ‘bull’s blood’, a full-bodied red wine from the Eger region, so called because of the legends that it gave the Hungarians the power to defeat the Turkish troops at the Battle of Eger in the 16th Century.
Wine is of course served in most bars and restaurants throughout the city. The most famous of Budapest’s ruin bars, Szimpla, even has a dedicated wine bar through the back to serve you up some local(ish) grape-based delights.
There’s endless wine tours across Hungary, so if this is your bag then consider travels further afield to enjoy all that the country has to offer - from Eger, to Tokaj, to Etyek. Etyek is in the beautiful countryside not too far away from Budapest and hosts wine-filled pikniks throughout the year.
We should also give a mention to Tokaji Aszú or ‘Alcoholic Gold’, which is a very popular sweet white wine from the Tokaj region. There are so many Hungarian wines to try! Get sampling and have fun!
Well, while we’re on the subject of wine... If you’re visiting Budapest in the warmer months, even if you’re not a hardcore wine drinker, you should definitely get yourself a fröccs, which is kinda pronounced “fruuch”. (Ask a Hungarian to say it for you in person if you want to sound legit when you order at the bar!) It’s essentially a wine spritzer that’s super refreshing and easy to drink. Whether you are sitting people watching down at Deák Ferenc tér, relaxing out at Margaret Island, or partying it up at famous summer festival Sziget... Enjoying a glass of fröccs (or several) is definitely one of those things to do in the city when the sun is shining.
If you join us for Bingo Bar Crawl, then partaking in a shot of unicum may well be one of your challenges. Unicum is a herbal alcoholic drink, that was first developed as a medicine for the royal court of Emperor Joseph II - and you know you’ve got to look after your health while you travel, right? So best take your medicine! The taste mostly resembles jägermeister, but with an aftertaste all of its own. There’s even a museum dedicated to Unicum in Budapest - the Zwack Museum - if you want to learn and taste more.
Scotland has whisky, the Balkans have rakija, eastern Europe has vodka - well, Hungary has pálinka! Essentially, pálinka is a fruit brandy, with flavours including apricot, pear, plum, and cherry. Hungarians will tell you that pálinka is good for everything… Feeling a bit sick? Pálinka! Need help digesting your meal? Pálinka! Want to get rid of your hangover? Pálinka! And you know they really believe it, as apparently the average Hungarian drinks over 70 litres of this glorious spirit each year! So whatever Budapest activities or partying you decide to do, you have to get yourself down to the local bars for a shot of pálinka if you want to do it the truly Hungarian way.
If you'd like a side of culture and history with your drinking, check out the Pálinka museum to find out more about this famous spirit, see how it's made, and of course get a few cheeky tastings along the way.
(We should also say that the weakest pálinka you will find is 37% and they can be as strong as 70-80% so it’s definitely going to pack a punch. Worth bearing in mind whether you’re a backpacker on a budget who wants the most bang for their buck, or if you’re out on a pub crawl for the night and need to pace yourself a little more! Do please remember and drink responsibly...ish)
Are you partying in Budapest? Why not check out our other articles on our favourite ruin bars where you can best sample these beverages? Or learn more about party events like Budapest Boat Party or Bingo Bar Crawl for the best combinations of travel, sightseeing, enjoying the local spirits and culture, and most of all, having fun!